Carlos De La Cruz is officially the City of Gretna’s new police chief.
De La Cruz was sworn in Friday morning by Gadsden County Judge Kathy Garner in front of a packed commission room.
He was a captain with the agency when he was appointed Interim Police Chief in 2012.
City manager Antonio Jefferson spoke about the good job that De La Cruz has done as interim police chief.
“You are taking on the task that is an honor that is only given to a few, that is very selective and we hope that you will represent this community, and our law enforcement friends well,” Jefferson said of his new police chief.
The chief’s position was near to his heart, he explained, because he had been the chief before taking the city manager’s position.
Judge Garner said prior to the swearing-in ceremony for De La Cruz that it was an honor to perform the ceremony.
After the swearing-in ceremony De La Cruz thanked his family for their support and the council and Jefferson for appointing him police chief.
He said that the ceremony went beyond having a badge pinned on his shirt; it was about a partnership with other agencies to make Gretna a safer community.
De La Cruz said it had been a law enforcement officer who had helped him as a young person.
“I look forward to working with each and every one of you,” he said.
“Chief, I welcome you to Gretna,” Sheriff Morris Young said. He added that police work was about the people and the children who are looking for leadership.
“There are over 9,563 children in the county between the ages of 5-17 and a lot of them are running astray and we are left to deal with them,” Sheriff Young said. “We have to take care of them.”
“Whenever I call, you’ve got to come,” Juanita Smiley, a resident of Gretna told Chief De La Cruz as she welcomed him to his new position.
Commissioner Helen Franks said that De La Cruz was currently working with her on a project for the young people in Gretna.
“I’m so glad to have him on board, because he is so good and humble to help,” Franks said.
Commissioner Clarence Jackson praised his fellow commissioners saying they were the best on the planet earth. He also praised Jefferson saying he ran this city marvelously. “Now I believe we’ve got the best police chief,” Jackson said.